Media, Shopping, and Body Image

Shopping is one of my favorite activities. I can spend upwards of five hours at the mall at once, and that is not an exaggeration. Going shopping can be like going to my “happy place;” I like to go by myself, preferably when the stores are not very busy. Thinking about gender and the media stirred me to also think about shopping. I examined my attitudes about shopping and asked myself whether or not the advertisements that shoppers are bombarded with have an effect on me. I did research to see if other young women notice or admit to any psychological effects of advertising while shopping; what I found is disheartening, but there is hope.

I wanted to create a video about my findings to add my voice to the many that have been raising awareness about the harm that the media has done to women. I interviewed my future sister-in-law, Jamie, to see how the data I collected might look on real people. Jamie is just one voice, and while she does not speak for all people her age, I believe her experience speaks truth to the experiences of many. She is fifteen years old, and many fifteen year olds like her are concerned with conforming how they look to what is socially acceptable and desirable. Teenagers and young women are constantly bombarded with images of unrealistically thin women on social media and in stores. My hope is that the video I created speaks the truth of their experiences in a way that people will identify with.

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